FPI (Front Pembela Islam, Islam’s Defender Front) must be joking when they threaten to overthow the Indonesian President if the government won’t disband the controversial Ahmadiyya community.
Ahmadiyya, the relatively small community of 400,000 has been a subject of controversy among Islamic groups for their differing interpretation of Islamic teaching.
While the Ahmadiyya have been practicing their belief in Indonesia long before Indonesia even existed, it doesnt mean that the religious bigots wont attack them. After three Indonesian minister signed the joint statute to delegalize Ahmadiyya in 2008, the attack to the Ahamadis has been increasing ever since. The worst came on February 6th, 2011 when a small village of Ahmadiyya in Cikeusik, Banten, Java was attacked by religious thugs. Houses, cars were burned and three Ahmadis were beaten to death. A video documenting the gore incident was documented and available on YouTube.
Then, the usually muted President SBY spoke to the public that his government will dissolve any community organization that causes fear and disorder1. FPI, the group that is associated with fear and disorder were a bit touchy, and apparently felt insulted by the President. FPI leader Habieb Rizieq, dressed in Arabic style, yelled in public that he will overthrow the President if the government wont disband the Ahmadiyya. It’s either Ahamdiyya or Revolution. He was perhaps taking inspirations from the recent revolts in the Arab’s world, as much as he was inspired by arabic fashion.
But here s the thing. Indonesia is not Egypt nor Libya. Rizieq missed that fact badly. Yes the government are not perfect and unemployment are high, but we are improving. It’s true that Indonesians are religious, but remember that most of them are centrist people. They wish for Ahamdis’ welfare, and will definitely seek a peaceful solution of the religious differences.
And most importantly, people were not killed or assaulted for being different with the government. Its FPI who attacks and threatens people who have different view than them. If Rizieq and his FPI gangs wants to overthow something, they really should overthrow themself.
1Even though disbanding any organization is bad for democracy, many people who just got tired of religious violence supported the idea.